The Marine Strategy Framework Directive deals with the implementation of an ecosystem approach to marine environmental management, and the Habitats Directive contributes to the protection of representative habitats. Human activities may have a severe impact on marine ecosystems. Therefore it is important that conduct and management of such activities (including fisheries, dredging etc.) are carried out in a way that supports the objectives of the Marine Strategy and the Habitat Directive. The challenge here is to investigate and quantitatively evaluate, specify and propose options and actions for a gradual transition from the current fragmented management of these activities (e.g. fish stock based regime for fisheries management) to a mature integrated management, including strategies for the implementation of the ecosystem approach at regional level, reconciling short-term economic objectives with long-term ecosystem sustainability objectives.
The overall aim of the ODEMM project is to develop a set of fully-costed ecosystem management options that would deliver the objectives of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Habitats Directive, the European Commission Blue Book and the Guidelines for the Integrated Approach to Maritime Policy. The key objective is to produce scientifically-based operational procedures that allow for a step by step transition from the current fragmented system to fully integrated management.